great britain

Javelin thrower runs marathon in backyard garden, raises $30,000

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Retired British javelin thrower James Campbell raised more than $30,000 for healthcare workers by running a marathon in his six-meter garden on Wednesday.

“10,000 retweets & I’ll run a marathon in my back garden,” he tweeted on Monday. It did, and he did, pacing back and forth for 5 hours, 5 minutes on a global live stream. A marathon is the equivalent of running the length of Campbell’s garden about 7,000 times.

“There’s not much positive news around at the moment,” Campbell, a 32-year-old Scottish javelin record holder, said on TODAY. “To take people’s mind off of it for a day and give them a bit of a laugh and a bit of entertainment, that’s job done.”

Campbell is one of many athletes turning to unusual measures to stay fit, raise money for charity and inspire others.

“It’s just been a very long week at home on my own,” he said. “As soon as you gain momentum, it was like, if I’m going to do something like this, then it’s got to be for a good cause.”

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Olympic champion field hockey player retires after freak head injury

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LONDON (AP) — A field hockey player who helped Britain win a gold medal at the Rio Olympics announced her retirement on Thursday after failing to recover from head trauma caused by hitting a brick wall hard while laughing at a joke.

Alex Danson-Bennett said her head injury had been life-changing “in terms of my perspective and things that have happened within my family.”

“It’s difficult because this has been my life,” said Danson-Bennett, a 34-year-old who co-led the last two Olympic tournaments in goals.

A key player for Britain when the team won Olympic gold in 2016, she was on holiday in Kenya with her now-husband, Alex, when she threw her head back to laugh at his joke and hit her head against a brick wall.

She suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, and said she had to spend 24 hours a day in bed for a few months and struggled to walk to the bathroom.

“I couldn’t bear light, sound, touch, anything,” she told the BBC in an interview. “It was almost like my sensory dials had been whacked up. Even holding a conversation, I’d have to talk very slowly.”

Danson-Bennett was told she would make a full recovery, and made changes in her personal life in an attempt to get back playing for Britain.

“Hockey has always been my priority, but I’ve come to that stage where I can’t do that and it wouldn’t be fair to the team,” she said.

Danson-Bennett said she will be Britain’s “No. 1 supporter” when the team tries to retain the Olympic title in Tokyo this year.

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Alistair Brownlee makes Olympic triathlon three-peat bid official

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In Olympic history, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt are the only men to three-peat in the same individual event in swimming, cycling or running. Come July 27 in Tokyo, Brit Alistair Brownlee aims to become the first athlete to win the triathlon — swimming, cycling and running — three straight times.

Brownlee, 31, at last decided whether to pursue another Olympics. It’s a yes this summer.

“A year ago I wouldn’t be doing this, because I knew I couldn’t cope with another bad injury,” Brownlee said, according to the BBC, conjuring setbacks in this Olympic cycle including hip surgery and a calf issue. “But in the past year I haven’t been injured. I’ve really enjoyed training and I’ve really enjoyed competing, and preparing to compete.

“And so the decision crept up on me a bit: I want to go to another Olympics, and I want to see what I might be able to do.”

Brownlee, who moved up to the Ironman last year, said in 2018 that he was “50-50” on a Tokyo Olympic run. But after finishing 21st at the Ironman Kona World Championships on Oct. 12, he moved the meter to “definitely swinging towards” moving back down to the Olympic distance.

Brownlee said he would ultimately decide after one more Ironman in Australia on Dec. 1, which he won by 10 minutes in 7 hours, 45 minutes, 20 seconds.

“The 12-year-old me dreamed of going to one Olympics,” Brownlee said, according to the BBC. “So to pass up the chance of just seeing where it leads me this year would be a bit mad.”

Other Olympic triathletes transitioned to the Ironman and never went back, such as 2008 Olympic champion Jan Frodeno of Germany and two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True.

One other triathlete won an Olympic title after completing the Kona Ironman — Austrian Kate Allen, who was seventh in Kona in 2002, then took gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

Brownlee has completed one Olympic-distance triathlon on the top-level ITU World Series since June 2017, finishing 44th at an event in Great Britain last June.

Last season, Frenchman Vincent Luis ended Spain’s six-year streak of world championships, relegating Mario Mola and Javier Gomez to second and third in the season-long standings.

“The perfect scenario is that I’m in a position where I’m stood on the start line, and I think I can win the race,” Brownlee said, according to the BBC. “But if I’m instead thinking I can scrape a third here, or I’m thinking, I could help another British athlete win a medal here — I would be happy with that.”

MORE: 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships Results

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